One of the most frequently asked questions among PR professionals and marketers is when to send a press release. The answer to the question is very important because sending it at a wrong time can break the chance of getting publicity.
If you ever wondered why you’re not getting media coverage, despite your effort to write a perfect pitch, the answer could be timing. Yes, distributing your release at the right time matters in the PR world.
It’s really difficult to obtain the right answer for this question. Some may tell you that it’s best to send your pitch in the morning. Others will tell you that it’s better to send it in the afternoon.
When is the right time to send a pitch?
Between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm
The right time to send your release is between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. A study showed that the open rate during those hours are more than 45 percent. Researchers found that the open rate declines to 15 percent after lunch.
A different research showed that the best time to send a release is around 9:00 am and 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. Always consider the time zone of the recipient and your location. You may automate sending emails to reach each destination at the correct time for easier distribution.
Do not send your email late in the afternoon. Reporters do not get time to open emails during those hours since they are busy working on their story and deadlines. Doing so may put your email in the risk of not getting opened because it was piled up with loads of email sent in the evening.
Between 8:30 am to 9:00 am
Sometimes, 8:30 am to 9:00 am are the best times for sending your pitch. Most journalists are working at their desk and if you get the perfect timing, they may view it in real time.
Of course, timing is just one factor in earning media coverage. Each time you pitch, ensure that you’re sending newsworthy material with a catchy headline. It speeds up the time of getting publicity.
Early In The Afternoon
There are times that sending a pitch early in the afternoon works. High click rates happen between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm.
However, do not send later than those times like 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Journalists are not keen on opening emails during those times since they are in a rush to beat their deadlines.
Take note of the following when sending your pitch:
- The best click-throughs happen between 8:00 am and 9:00 am and 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm, with most time occurring at 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
- Open rates happen in the first hour it was sent. The rate drops after the first hour of delivery.
- There are some reporters that check their emails about 8:00 pm. You may want to try sending it during that time since less PR professionals are sending their pitch at the same time.
When is the best day to send a pitch?
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
Several studies showed that Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are the most popular days to pitch a reporter. One study claimed that Tuesday is the best day to send a pitch, followed by Wednesday.
A separate research found that Thursday is the best day to send a press release because it has an open rate of more than 23 percent compared with other days. This is an important consideration when you’re breaking an important story since you have to get the word out as soon as possible.
For instance, if you have a book coming out on Tuesday, you may pitch reporters on the same day or on Wednesday. Don’t wait for Thursday just because it is the best day to send a release.
Reporters aren’t interested to cover late stories. Press release distribution matters in sharing important news.
Do not send a pitch during these days:
Mondays, Fridays, Weekends & Holidays
Do not send your release on a Friday because the same study found that the open rate is just 15 percent. Sending it on Friday may run you the risk of your email not being opened.
Do not send your pitch on weekends. Don’t expect reporters to work on their rest days. They are humans too, so they devote those days for relaxation and enjoyment.
Monday is not a favorable day to pitch either. Most reporters are busy working at their desks since it is the start of the week.
Friday is the last day of their work. It is not recommended that you send your pitch on this day too.
Most reporters and editors are wrapping up their work for the week. They aren’t going to search for a new topic to start with.
You have to make sure not to send pitch during holidays. Keep in mind that reporters and editors are busy covering stories happening during the special events.
It is not the best time for PR engagements to secure publicity. Holidays, including Memorial Day weekend, Labor Day and the 4th of July shouldn’t be considered to reach out the press or hiring a press release distribution service.
Do not attempt to send your email during long weekends because it can only get lost with the loads of email sent during those days. Don’t send your pitch on Christmas, New Year and three days prior to these celebrations as these are slow days for PR. You may also want to take a rest sending releases during religious holidays.
As you take note of the special events on your editorial calendar, you should also take note of the interests, habits and schedules of the writers and editors. Sometimes, although your wish is to be advanced in sending your pitch, most writers and editors are still not ready to check emails as early as 6:00 am.
These tips are only guides for you in sending your releases. It’s not applicable when hiring a press release service. You still want to make sure that you do your job of researching your target reporters and publications to know the best time and the best day to send your pitch.
Don’t forget to build rapport with the media. It is the foundation of a successful PR campaign.